WRAP Framework Set To Help Increase Recycling

household-recycling

Greater consistency in household collections by England’s local authorities could see a 7% increase in the country’s recycling rate by 2025, according to Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP).

The ‘Framework for Greater Consistency in Household Recycling for England’ was developed by an advisory group of representatives from across the sector, and supported by Defra and the Department for Communities and Local Government.

If adopted, everyone in England would be recycling the same set of eight core materials by 2025: paper, card, plastic bottles and other rigid plastic packaging, metal packaging, glass containers, food and beverage cartons, and food waste.

The framework draws on local authority and industry good practice that WRAP says has the potential to bring financial and other benefits. Cumulative benefits estimated during an eight-year period include:

  • 6 million tonnes of extra recyclable material diverted from disposal, including more than eight million tonnes of food waste
  • Avoidance of around five million tonnes of greenhouses gases released into the atmosphere
  • An increase to England’s recycling rate by seven percentage points – currently stuck on 44%

Central to the framework is collaborative action to address recycling barriers at three key stages by: increasing the recyclability of packaging, reducing consumer confusion over what can and can’t be recycled and working with local authorities to collect more of the core materials in one of three ways.  All supported by widespread communications with householders using the same messages.

WRAP says the industry’s collective vision is that by 2025, packaging is designed, where practical and environmentally beneficial, to be recycled and is labelled clearly to indicate whether it can be recycled or not. Every household in England can recycle a common set of dry recyclable materials and food waste, collected in one of three ways.

The three collection systems presented in the framework are: multi-stream with food; two-stream with food separate; and commingled mixed recyclables with food separate. In each system core materials, including plastic pots, tubs and trays and aerosols, known to cause confusion, are collected.

This would also have a beneficial effect on the level of contamination, which the Resource Association has calculated costs UK reprocessors more than £51m each year.

Marcus Gover, Chief Executive, who chaired the advisory group, said: “By pooling the wealth of recycling experience from across the sectors, we have developed a vision that offers the opportunity to increase recycling, improve the quality of recycled materials, save money and offer a good service to householders. It is only by joining together that we can now realise the benefits of the vision, and I look forward to working with all those involved to do that”.

Download both the framework and the underpinning analysis from www.wrap.org.uk/consistentrecycling.

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